March 9, 2015

Inbox

Dogs and Angels

Thank you for printing Paul Gnadt’s story “Dogs and Angels” (Feb. 12, 2015). It was a blessing for me. Having spent eight summers as a student colporteur from academy into medical school at Loma Linda many years ago, I remember the stressful situations God placed me in and the ways He provided for my needs.

I was also intrigued by the illustration of the slightly modified “old pickup.” Since I was 14 in 1952, I am quite sure the picture is a painting based on a 1952 Chevrolet 3100. The color, the bumper, the grill, the headlights, the small lights on the front fenders, the insignia above the grill, and the outside rearview mirrors are all consistent with that pickup. Only the windshield is not. The 1952 windshields were flat two-pieced ones, not a one-pieced one. Incidentally, the 1951 pickups had the door handles that turned down to open the door. The 1952s had the new-styled handles that opened by pushing in the round knob with your thumb. I can’t see the handle!

Ron Turk
Greeneville, Tennessee

That Box in the Attic

I appreciate Bill Knott’s reminiscence shared in “That Box in the Attic” (Feb. 12). While we all have personal “time capsules” in our proverbial attics, I suggest that those capsules/boxes remain interred. Secrets and personal growth moments are hidden within bobbles, awards, and letters. Exhuming such can be of service to the owner, however measured, but can never be fully understood by passersby, for they indeed “value different things . . .”

Stefan R. Burnham
Tennessee

I agree that a relationship with Christ is more important than anything else, and relationships with others are also important. However, I regret that our society (even our “Adventist society”) has lost the value it once held for “effort, industriousness, accountability, and obligation.” Those character traits are part of what makes us people with whom others will want to build a relationship. Is there a way to balance both?

Esther Martinez
via e-mail

This article was a look into my past, for I also saved all check stubs and mementos from trips I’ve taken. I have a book that records many milestones in my life.

The most memorable event in my life was the time I gave my life to Jesus and, among 800-plus people, was baptized into the Adventist Church. With hope in the Second Coming I’m awaiting the reunion at Jesus’ feet. Let’s keep the faith!

M. Maundy
via e-mail

Visitors Wanted

I am writing in regard to Dwain N. Esmond’s article “ ‘You Visited Me’ ” (Jan. 22, 2015). This is a wonderful ministry, but I know of some Adventists in a federal prison who cannot get any Adventists in the area to visit them. They have written to all the area churches, the conference president, union president, and on up, with no response.

The Adventist group in the prison are able to hold services on Sabbath with other Adventists, but cannot “legally” invite other prisoners to attend unless Adventists come in from the outside to conduct the service.

Many other religions, including Wicca, have someone coming in from the outside to conduct services. But no Adventists come. The prisoners are also not allowed to hold any kind of Bible studies unless someone comes in from the outside to conduct them. Seventh-day Adventists are missing a huge opportunity to witness in this prison. If I were closer, I would go, as I do here.

Name Withheld
Utah

Thank God for Richard Bland and his associates, who are demonstrating His love to His children behind physical bars. May His love infuse our lives and free us from our spiritual bars so that we can welcome and help our brothers and sisters to worship and fellowship with us when they walk out of prison.

Jovalfar Zar
Scottsville, New York

Biblical Hermeneutics

Michael Zwaagstra, in “Biblical Hermeneutics 101” (Dec. 11, 2014), went to great pains to emphasize the importance of context in the interpretation of Scripture. While I agree that this is true up to a point, I believe that if this interpretation is carried to its logical conclusion, there can be very little in Scripture that pertains to me personally.The writing of Scripture was completed more than 2,000 years ago. I wasn’t there when the things recorded were said and done. It all happened in a different time and place. But does that mean its message has no relevance for me, here in the Antipodes in the year 2014?

It should be obvious that limiting Scripture to a narrow cultural/historical context is inappropriate. There are many things in Scripture that have more than one application, which is why it’s applicable to all humanity for all time.

Many of God’s promises fall into this category, and I shall continue to believe that God has a plan for my life and that His intention is for my good always.

Kathleen King
Queensland, Australia

I heartily agree with Michael Zwaagstra’s counsel for Bible students and teachers to seek out the original context of a scriptural passage so as to correctly understand it before trying to apply it to one’s life. This is the initial step in finding all scriptural counsel.

I disagree, however, with the author’s categorical verbal chastisement of leaders who share with today’s youth, as God’s valid promise, the message of Jeremiah 29:11 (and to which I would add verses 12, 13). Also, the author’s comparison of a possible misinterpretation of the Goldilocks story with the alleged misapplication of the Jeremiah promise seems to be a proverbial comparison of apples and oranges.

I would like to ask Zwaagstra, in the light of Romans 15:4 and 1 Corinthians 10:11, is there a second step that students and Bible teachers can take to legitimately apply this divine promise to end-time youth and adults? Perhaps there can be a Hermeneutics 201.

David J. Prest, Sr.
Hendersonville, North Carolina

Searching the Obvious

Dixil Rodríguez’s November 13, 2014, column impressed me to respond not only to her teaching gift but also to her skills as a volunteer hospital chaplain. She is sensitive, even as early as 6:00 a.m., to people’s needs; she’s generous with students and staff at breakfast. And Rodríguez has a knack in identifying and helping students who may go to class without breakfast. She’s a kind and thoughtful professional.

I was touched by Rodríguez’s active Christian/teacher spirit. Lately I’ve been inspired in reading Ellen White’s counsel. There is a wealth of knowledge in Testimonies for the Church: “Every ray of light shed upon others will be reflected upon our own hearts. . . . Every kind and sympathizing word spoken to the sorrowful, every act to relieve the oppressed, and every gift to supply the necessities of our fellow beings . . . will result in blessings to the giver” (vol. 4, p. 56).

Keith R. Mundt
Riverside, California

More, and Better

I have been a peruser of the Review for many years, but only a reader for more recent years. I have noticed a new tone to the content, much more diversity, and better reporting. (Maybe we can attribute much of it to the addition of Andrew McChesney.)

The stories that blend the information about church and Adventist issues with society at large are very refreshing and pertinent—and the diversity is stimulating. FriChik, Romanian book Jesus of New York, and the letters to the editor where we occasionally discover a long-lost relative who has written to the Review!

The issues and their content are a real delight; and even though I don’t agree wit
h everything I read, the diversity is important and the recognition of the different points of view is essential.

Congratulations on a job well done.

A Reader in the
Northwest U.S.

Just a note of appreciation to the news editor, Andrew McChesney, for keeping us readers current with Adventist news from around the world. He’s doing a bang-up job! Sometimes when someone alerts me to a news item, I’m delighted to say, “Oh, I saw that already on the Adventist Review Web site!”

Ruth Wright
Berkeley Springs, West Virginia


We welcomeyour letters, noting, as always, that inclusion of a letter in this section does not imply that the ideas expressed are endorsed by either the editors of the Adventist Review or the General Conference. Short, specific, timely letters have the best chance at being published (please include your complete address and phone number—even with e-mail messages). Letters will be edited for space and clarity only. Send correspondence to Letters to the Editor, Adventist Review, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600; Internet: [email protected]

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